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HK-NZ trade deal needs finishing now

April 9 2008

HK-NZ trade deal needs finishing now

Fresh impetus needs to be given to finishing negotiations for a trade deal between Hong Kong and New Zealand on the back of the signing of the Free Trade Agreement with China says the President of the Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association, Dr Richard Worth.

Dr Worth says New Zealand commenced discussions with Hong Kong in 2001, but they were suspended after five rounds of negotiation in late 2002 because of rules of origin issues.

During his visit to New Zealand last year Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Donald Tsang said his government saw no reason for the proposed closer economic partnership to be held back after the China-NZ FTA was signed.

“Both countries remain committed to strengthening the relationship when circumstances and policy developments permit,” Dr Worth said. “That time is now.

“Hong Kong remains an attractive portal to China and North Asia for New Zealand exporters. The special administrative region’s legal system, including rules about the protection of intellectual property, access to finance and the ability to find partners or agents that are familiar with New Zealand clients, make it a safe haven and logistical hub for New Zealand’s small to medium exporters.”

Hong Kong is New Zealand's 15th largest export destination with exports worth $599 million in the year ended February 2008, equivalent to 1.58 per cent of its total merchandise exports. Merchandise imports from Hong Kong were $205 million, equivalent to 0.48 per cent of total merchandise imports.


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